Types of Healing Process Inside the Body
HEALING OF BROKEN BONES
We get a still more wonderful view of how nature performs her work if we observe the healing of a fractured or broken bone. If an arm or leg be broken, this same marvelous intelligence that has brought us from ovum to adulthood immediately sets about to repair the damage done. A liquid substance is secreted and deposited over the entire surface of the bone in each direction from the point of fracture. This section quickly hardens into a bone-like substance and is firmly attached to the two sections of the bone. Until nature can repair the damage, this “bone ring” forms the chief support whereby the limb can be used. By the same process of cell multiplication which we saw in the healing of the wound, the ends of the bone are reunited. The circulatory channels are re-established through the part. It is then that the “bone ring” support is softened and absorbed, except about an eighth to a quarter of an inch about the point of fracture.
HEALING OF BRUISES
If you strike your finger with a hammer, a very painful bruise is the result. There is an effusion of blood under the surface, with inflammation and discoloration. The tissues are mangled, the cells are broken and many of them are killed. But does the thumb always remain so? No. As time passes, new tissues are formed to replace the dead ones and the dead blood and tissue cells are carried away by the bloodstream. The inflammation subsides, the pain ceases and the bruise is healed and soon forgotten. Thus again is manifested the marvelous intelligence of the power that superintends the workshop which we call our body. Once again we watch its work and see its marvelous efficiency as a workman.
A similar manifestation of the body's self-healing, self-adjusting and self-repairing powers is seen in the common accident whereby a sliver becomes embedded in the flesh. If it is not removed immediately, nature, or vital force, does a skillful little piece of engineering and removes it for us. Pain and inflammation are soon followed by the formation of pus, which breaks down the tissues towards the surface of the body. Gradually increasing in amount, the pus finally breaks through the overlying skin and runs out, carrying the sliver along as a souvenir.
A remarkable engineering feat is presented to us in abscess formations. Ordinarily the abscess is limited by a thick protective wall of granulation tissue which prevents the abscess from spreading and prevents rapid escape of the pus into the circulation.
In appendicitis the loops of the bowels around the appendix form friendly adhesions. They adhere together and form a strong wall against further spread of the trouble. Within this enclosure the abscesses form. The line of least resistance normally is into the bowels so that practically every case, if not interfered with by meddlesome doctors, will rupture into the bowels and the pus will pass out with, the stools.
ICE SLOWS HEALING
Where the ice bag is employed for one or two days prior to the usual operations, there is a noticeable lack of effort on the part of nature to wall off the appendix from the rest of the abdominal cavity. However, where the ice bag has not been employed, a distinct walling off of the acutely inflamed and gangrenous appendix from the general pentoneal cavity is found. So greatly does the ice bag interfere with the curative and protective operations of nature that one of the leading abdominal surgeons of this country declares: “I have entirely discarded the use of the ice bag, and in cases brought to me in which it has been used, I always announce beforehand that I expect to find a gangrenous appendix and am seldom surprised. Clearly the ice bag should never be used in cases of actual or suspected appendicitis.” Nature can do her own work in her own way, and all our so-called aiding of nature amounts to is nothing more than meddlesome and pernicious interference.
If heat or friction of sufficient intensity and duration is applied to the skin, a blister forms; that is, a watery exudate or serum is poured out of the surrounding tissues and circulation into the “space” between the dermis and epidermis and detaches the dermis from this, raising it up and thus protecting the tissues beneath. The accumulated fluid holds back the heat or, in the case of sunburn, the actinic rays, and protects from the friction. This little piece of engineering work is quite obviously a defensive work. In both burns and sunburn, inflammation and healing follow the blister, and in the case of sunburn pigmentation occurs to protect from future sunburn.